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cloak slide vs shapeshift

Comparing The ShapeShift OWB Slide Holster Against The Cloak Slide OWB Holster

Obsession and imagination are often the first building blocks of innovation.

These birthed our outside the waistband belt slide holsters.

This equipment is prototyped relentlessly, torture tested and rebuilt time and again until multiple teams are satisfied to release the product.

There are two belt slide holsters that manifest Alien Gear Holsters' approach to improving everyday carry, and their features differ structurally, functionally and effectively.

The structural differences between Alien Gear's belt slide holsters

slide holsters

There are two belt slide holsters designed and crafted by Alien Gear Holsters in North Idaho.

The ShapeShift OWB Slide Holster released in July of 2017, and the Cloak Slide OWB Holster released in August of 2014.

You may have noticed they were released three years apart.

So, what's changed in the design during that time frame?

Materials, ideas, technology, facilities and training — to name a few.

Structurally, the Cloak Slide uses English bridle leather for the base/backer, with leather loops bolted onto it.

A boltaron sheet is heat-set and molded to a specific handgun model. It is then bolted to the leather backer at four points.

The ShapeShift OWB Slide is completely different.

Its backer has four layers: textured thermoplastic, ballistic nylon, flexible steel and perforated neoprene.

The materials are edge-stitched with a binding to enclose raw edges.

The belt loops are secured with two twist locks.

Either of those locks can be untwisted and used to dial in the passive retention unit for a tighter or looser hold on the firearm.

That passive retention unit is fastened onto a shell made out of an injection-molded polymer blend.

The collection of those materials provide functional flexibility.

The functional differences between Alien Gear's belt slide holsters

owb slide holsters

There are a couple German words that illustrate the difference between the two OWB belt slide holsters offered by Alien Gear Holsters.

In the German language, the word for "command" has two specific manifestations: befehl, which is an order to be carried out to the letter, and the auftrag, which is a statement of an overall mission to be carried out in its spirit.

The Cloak Slide OWB Holster is a befehl. It allows for open carry, plain and simple with one function, one result and one form.

It's a command. You carry one way.

It has four retention points to be dialed in with a hex key for tighter or looser passive retention.

The leather is supple. The boltaron is rigid. The backer bends along the waistline and restricts the handgun to one position.

The ShapeShift OWB Slide Holster is an auftrag.

It's an assignment. You carry in one of many ways based on how you prefer — open or concealed carry.

The holster is just one option among many in the interconnected ShapeShift Modular Holster System. The ShapeShift OWB Slide Holster has the ability to be reconfigured in moments into one of several other carry styles: AIWB, IWB, OWB paddle, backpack carry, MOLLE or drop leg.

This shifts control over how a gun may be carried on the body and in the holster.

The ShapeShift Belt Slide Holster has adjustable passive retention (without tools), and by replacing a couple parts, it can be, for example, an appendix inside the waistband holster.

It rides high and tight on the waistline, which makes it a decent option for OWB concealed carry with the right shirt, flannel or jacket.

Bottom line: both holsters do the same job in different ways.

How to decide between these two OWB holsters

best owb holsters

Well, deciding between these OWB holsters will depend on a few variables and personal preferences.


  • Cloak Slide — $29.88 (or $34.88 with black leather)
  • ShapeShift OWB Slide — $51.88 (and 20 percent off other carry styles when bundled in order)


  • Cloak Slide — simple OWB carry on the waistline with classic, traditional, leather materials that require minimal effort
  • ShapeShift OWB Slide — complete control over retention and carry style without any tools, easily concealable, and the ability to affordably and effortlessly try other carry styles


  • Cloak Slide — fits over 500 handgun models
  • ShapeShift OWB Slide — fits fewer handgun models (the release schedule is here)


  • Cloak Slide — Forever Warranty, 30-Day Test Drive, free shell trades for life (get a new handgun? send in the old holster shell)
  • ShapeShift OWB Slide — Forever Warranty, 30-Day Test Drive (which extends to other carry styles, which offers gun owners the ability to test new carry styles with minimal financial impact)

Something to note about the difference in fit: the ShapeShift OWB Slide is designed to cinch tighter to the waistline and the backer covers the entirety of the handgun slide.

But, the Cloak Slide will jive better with folks who prefer classic leather holsters.

As with all choices, this one breaks down to personal preference. These are just facts to help that process.

About The Author

Jake Smith gun blog writer